Saturday, September 24, 2005

Protesting Your "Loss Of Free Speech" By Denying Others Theirs

From the hypocrisy department, via Dan Weintraub of the major Sacramento newspaper (free registration probably required):

Attorneys, supporters and plaintiffs represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation of Springfield, Va., tried to announce the filing of the suit at a sidewalk press conference in front of the CTA's headquarters in downtown Sacramento. They were drowned out, however, by more than 100 union activists shouting, "Shame on you!"

I love pointing out hypocrisy. And this is yet another problem I have with unions. We claim to be professionals, then at the slightest challenge to our orthodoxy, act like idiots. If your position is strong enough to withstand scrutiny you don't need to drown out others. In the political arena the antidote to speech you don't like is more speech, getting your stronger ideas out, not trying to prevent others from speaking.

The suit being talked about? The one filed against the California Teachers Association to prevent it from assessing all members up to $20/month (they say for only 3 years, but we all know it will go on forever) specifically to fight the governor's initiatives on the November ballot, including one that will require public employee unions to get members' permission each year before spending that member's dues money on political causes! The union claims that such a requirement inhibits "our" (teachers) free speech by making it harder to raise money to get our word out.

No wonder they're squawking!

At the press conference in front of the union's 10th Street headquarters, supporters of the lawsuit continued on with their statements behind a podium set up on the sidewalk even though the shouting of the demonstrators made it impossible to hear them.

"It's an example of the intimidation and thuggery that our public school teachers are working under every day of the week, and as a parent and as a Californian, I have had enough of it," state Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, who attended the news conference, said in an interview afterward.

Union supporters said they conducted the protest to demonstrate that the plaintiffs do not speak for the majority of school teachers in the state.

"It's our building, it's our house," said Don Hillman, a CTA political organizer. "We felt that our voice should be heard in front of our house."

And you have to love that mature attitude from a "professional".

I contacted the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation and asked them to add me to the list of plaintiffs. I'm sure it's too late to do that, but I offered nonetheless.

Incidentally, in every state where such "paycheck protection" laws were put on the books, money for political causes dropped off dramatically--by members of all parties. Apparently, many of us want our union working on pay and working conditions, not on social or political causes.

No comments: